Big night for Nice, OM and OL
Nice have an opportunity to qualify for the knokckout stage of the UEFA Europa League on a night when all three Ligue 1 Conforama clubs have the chance to make significant progress in their quest.
Thursday, 2 November, 2017
UEFA Europa League, Matchday 4
Olympique Lyonnais - Everton FC
Second in Group E on five points, OL have a great chance to enhance their qualification prospects when they entertain bottom club Everton, who dismissed Ronald Koeman since the sides met a fortnight ago and are now under interim coach David Unsworth.
Lyon won 2-1 at Goodison Park in a fractious encounter and will be looking to emulate that result and performance. Coach Bruno Genesio insisted they will not have half-an-eye on Sunday's derby at Saint-Etienne: "The best way not to pick up knocks is to play without any second thoughts and to play our football. We have spoken about what happened in the league at Metz last weekend and it mustn't happen again. When everyone is focused on the team then great things can happen on an individual level."
Clément Grenier (foot) and Cheikh Diop (shoulder) are OL's only injury absentees. Myziane Maolida has been left out of the 19-man matchday squad with Amine Gouiri preferred to the young forward.
With six points, OM are in a great position in Group I as they take on a Vitória SC outfit that have managed only one point in the section so far. OM boss Rudi Garcia said: "We are here to win and to take an important step towards qualifying. It's an opportunity and we don't want to wait until the last group game to qualify."
Dimitri Payet (thigh) is still out, but striker Kostas Mitroglou has travelled despite a knock. The Greek was heavily criticized after a laboured performance in the 1-0 win at LOSC last Sunday. Garcia commented: "I'm asking for patience. He's just back from injury and is learning about the French league. He's only played three games and in one of them he was involved in everything good. The others didn't go as well for him. He needs time and needs to be allowed to work."
Jordan Amavi is available after domestic suspension and the likes of Bouna Sarr, Boubakar Kamara, Aymen Abdennour, Maxime Lopez, Clinton Njie and Valère Germain could be handed starts as Garcia rotates his squad.
SS Lazio - OGC Nice
Nice are the only one of the three French clubs in action with a chance of clinching their spot in the knockout stage on Thursday evening. To achieve that, Les Aiglons need to beat Lazio in Italy and hope the other match in the section, between Vitesse and Zulte Waregem, finishes in a draw.
Nice have lost five in a row in all competitions since winning 3-0 at home to Vitesse at the end of September. Two weeks ago they fell 3-1 at home to Lazio despite Mario Balotell's early opener.
Nice coach Lucien Favre said: "The players are disappointed but they are not down and out. It will take time, of course, but we will pick ourselves up, that's for sure. From working hard we'll get more confidence and that will lead to better results."
Jean-Michaël Séri, Yoan Cardinale and Allan Saint-Maximin are all absent through injury.